Edit 25 April for some reason WordPress broke the links in this. Fixed now.
Only a few (if any) of you will be interested in this, but Inform 7, the programming language for text adventure games (Interactive Fiction) has released a new version, along with a new, much-improved website.
Those of you who enjoy writing really should check out this absolutely marvellous cross-platform program (Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux and Solaris binaries available), which actually allows you to write something like this (taken from an earlier post of mine)
“Example” by “andrew hickey”
The Fortress Of Solitude is a room. The description of the fortress of solitude is “An empty, cold, lonely place – the kind of place a God would enter when he needed to cast off his humanity for a short time.” The South Pole is a room. The South Pole is outside from the fortress of solitude.
Superman is a man. Superman is in the Fortress Of Solitude.
A lead box is in the fortress. Kryptonite is a thing. Kyptonite is in the box. The box is closed. The box is not transparent. The box is openable.
After opening the box:
Say “‘How could you bring Kryptonite here?’ shouts Superman, and he flees”;
try Superman going outside.
And have it be interpreted as an actual running program.
Inform 7 is an absolutely revolutionary tool for true interactive storytelling, and I want to start writing actual story/games in it soon (I’ve spent nearly a year just playing with it). The documentation is also some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Also of interest for the more technical and Free Software oriented of you is that they’ve started opening the program up under the Artistic License 2.0 (except the IDE, which has always been GPLv2 (GPLv3 for the GNOME IDE) , and a couple of still-closed bits – they’re followers of Knuth’s idea of ‘literate programming’ and want to make the source human-readable to non-programmers before releasing it). And not only that, they’re opening up the toolchain they created to create Inform 7 too – things like this literate programming tool.
If you’re interested in telling stories or in computer programming, you really should give it a go…